I have gotten out of the habit of writing.
And serious writing depends on just that—habit. Not waiting for inspiration or time or a good night’s sleep or a better outline or the dog to shut up or until you take some class/webinar/retreat.
Writing requires that you sit down and do it. No matter what. As often as possible, every day if you can. You start where you are and spill your jumbled thoughts, wandering storylines, and vast emotions on the page. Your fingers tap along as your heart and mind try to make sense of it. (or maybe that’s just how it works for me.)
If you keep going, pressing past the doubt and frustration and discouragement and that little nagging bird fluttering all around you chirping that you’re wasting so much time, if you wave her away and type on, I promise something will come of it.
Maybe you’ll write something that will help others or spin into a short story or a novel or a blog post, or maybe (and this is what happens most for me) it will simply clear the cluttered decks of your mind so that you can see more clearly what you want to do or write or how to move toward.
At worst (and this is never a bad thing) it is practice—stretching and forming those writing muscles.
Since moving last July, I have yet to write anything of consequence. At least in terms of my writing career. It’s a daily challenge to clear my head and heart, and often when I’m done, I feel better but I have nothing to show for it except an ever filling hard drive crammed with half-finished blog posts, essays, and even the beginning of another novel, none of which are what I want to say and all of which are really just me whining and pinning and spinning in endless circles of frustration waiting for the writing magic to strike.
I know I have to spit all of that out to make room for the messages that will matter to someone beyond me.
This is all easy for me to say; I’ve been here before. I know that eventually gold will rise from all these pages of poop. But… full confession…. it’s never taken this long before. I’ve often wadded in this lake of uncertainty and eventually found dry land, but gosh people, this feels more like an ocean.
And yet, I will keep typing, typing, typing (I’ve even tried writing a little by long hand, but my fingers never move as fast as my mind).
Sooner or later, the writing magic will return and I’ll know which way to go. After seven years of a book a year, 2022 will be a barren one for me. And that’s okay, maybe it’s even a relief after the last two during the pandemic. I’m going to catch my breath, find my footing in this new place, and listen for my heart to lead me where I’m meant to go.
How about you? I hope you are writing for blog or print or book, or mostly, for yourself. There is time to sit and wait for the writing magic to arrive. You are not wasting your time or your words. Soon enough (or maybe it will be a while) you will get enough words out, and there will be room for the writing magic to strike, and when it does, I hope you’re ready, fingers or pen poised.
Hey, thanks for reading. I know you’ve got lots of options, so thanks for sharing a few of your minutes with me.
If you’re curious about what else I’m up to, check out my website, CaraWrites.com.
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And If you’re a dog lover, and you want to know what is really happening in the animal shelters in this country (and how you can help), visit, Who Will Let the Dogs Out.
My book, 100 Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues was released July 2020 from Pegasus books and is available anywhere books are sold, but if you’d like some help finding it (or want to read some lovely reviews), click here.